Life After BIMM: The Business

April 14th, 2011

I've been thinking about life after BIMM! There are a great deal of things that I want to do... I want to play drums and I want to keep learning (you should never stop learning). Specifically, I want to learn about playing, recording, and writing about drums and music.

I have found BIMM challenging, but as the Olympic plaque in Eau Claire in Downtown Calgary says...


And I'm coming on, feeling more confident, and taking chances. I played for Dave :) which is a good reason to drum.

I'm beginning to get a grip on developing drum scores for songs. I've done another one, Blur's Charmless man. Being able to pic a song and try to develop a drum score has really been a focus on this last month, but going forward I'm going to focus on my drumming.

I'm need to remember its a business and hopefully earn some money at it, how I do that... answers on a post card please?

We went skiing in Banff which has really cool, I love the mountains, here's a ski video that Dave did :)

Drum Score: No-doubt's Hella Good

April 4th, 2011

This week I really got working on learning a track for next term and using MuseScore software. The track is Hella Good by No-Doubt.

I was pleased with myself for being able to listen to a song and and develop a drum score from it. I find I learn to play a track considerably quicker and easier using a score. I also find that I am able to play along and pick up a track quicker if I sight read whilst playing a song. It is where I am at present. But with this track there was a big change... I was able to listen to it and I managed to hear what the drums were playing. I haven't got everything right but what I have done I think goes well. Please let me know what you thing of the score?

This was how I did it... I used the equalizers on iTunes to try and hear the individual drum parts. I concentrated on Hats, Snare & Bass drum. I downloaded some free open source software known as MuseScore to do the score. Once I got going on MuseScore I was able to produce the score shown below. Its not the most intuitive software for me to score drums on but I like it. I should write other scores as I think scoring drum parts is really good for me.

Drummers: The Score-Music Interface

March 28th, 2011

Following on from a lesson we had last term with Pat Garvey where we had to get up and sight read a song from a drum score... I decided to try this again with the goal of trying to understand the process, and to determine how I could improve.

Well it occurs to me that it's about transferring what you see on a score to making music on the drums, which means that the drummer is the interface between the score and the music, so how does this interface work for me?

So I replicated what we did in class as best I could. Firstly I listen to a song couple of times. Then, sight unseen, played the track while sighting reading the drum score. This was OK but I had problems with the fills, section changes and tempo. The track was Brass in Pocket by the Pretenders, which at first glance is fairly simplistic but the idea was to follow the score to learn what I need to work on.

So over this week I have been playing the song, trying to break the fills down and voice them, and count out the bars. I seem to have had most success with counting the main grove (i.e. 1,2,3,4) and then voicing the fill pattens. By day 3, I was at the stage were I had put the score away and trusted that I knew where the section changes were.

Over the week as I did this more and more, some of the fills felt more natural to play than others. I did manage to get most of the fills down. But as for the tempo I really had to concentrate on counting in my head so not to lose my place on the chart. With repetition, things did get easier and I really like playing along to this song... I remember really liking it when it first was released.

So if I ever play a drum score unseen, I need to remember to count and voice the section changes the best I can. Next week I am going to try and learn a song by ear and produce a drum score for the track which I will put up here for anyone who wants it :)

This weekend we went skiing and stayed in Banff over night which was really nice. I do love being in the mountains. I think it has something to do with feeling protected by them. And the sound of the train passing through is just so lovely.

Term 2 Week 10: Exam Week

March 21st, 2011

So its been done! :D

The first half of the week was all exams and solo performance... I think everything went OK, but I am really pleased with my solo performance. The performance of the track went really well and I had great initial feedback, but all i could remember were the mistakes that I made |-| The following day I reviewed the performance in my head and I feel confidant that I placed the fills and section changes well and kept in time throughout the track.

So a well deserved rest in Calgary is on the cards for the next month.

I have a number of things that I want to keep working on, for example, my doubles, jazz, and roll rudiments. I have also been working on the Vic Firth Snare book which I hope to really focus on. And of course, I want to learn a couple of songs.

Term 2 Week 9: Coming on

March 13th, 2011

It's been revision week this week. Its also been a quiet week for practicing - I've only managed to to an extra seven hours this week mainly due to the slight injury in the right hand. I just think I over did it last week with the rolling triplet shuffle ;)

I played in class a couple of times and got some good feedback. My solo performance in on Wednesday so i took the opportunity to play the song and exercises in class as much as I could.

The exercises and track are coming on. I should have the rolling shuffle and off beats ready :D, not sure about the jazz pattens and the 7 stroke roll, speaking of which had some great feedback on this from Pat in class... it was good on many of levels... but more significantly he pointed out that last year I could never done that :p

So I'll be ramping up practice beginning of this week, theory exam is really going to be a nightmare.

My last band practice on Monday before a well deserved break....